Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: What to Expect From the Masters and More

We've got details on the biggest new feature in Tiger 12, plus five more additions that shouldn't be overlooked.

You don't need to be a golf nut to recognize the Masters. At some point you've seen those famous green jackets and the professional golfers with mile-wide smiles sliding their arms into the sleeves. It's a remarkably vivid image because, well, why would anyone be so happy to wear such an ugly jacket? The simple answer is this: that green jacket is the prize for winning the Masters, the ultimate prize in professional golf.

So needless to say, the Masters is a pretty big deal. This year will mark the first time that the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has featured the legendary tournament. It has only been the most requested new feature for countless years, and this year it's finally "in the game." (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) And don't think EA Sports doesn't realize how big of a draw this has the potential to be. The word "Masters" is the biggest chunk of text on the front of the box art, sitting right there in front of a scenic shot of Tiger at Augusta National.

The 18 holes that make up the gamut of courses at Augusta are all there, but that's the sort of no-brainer stuff you would expect. One of the nice unexpected bonuses that ought to delight golf fans is a fully revamped broadcast package for the Masters, including Masters-specific graphics and full audio commentary from longtime Masters host Jim Nantz. There's also a feature that lets you go back in time to relive famous moments throughout the Masters, like re-creating Tiger's four winning runs and other historical moments like Arnold Palmer's 1958 effort.

There will undoubtedly be a lot of buzz around the Masters, and with good reason--it's golf's ultimate prize, and fans of the Tiger games have been eagerly awaiting this feature for years. But the developers at EA Tiburon have been working on some other new features as well, so here are five more that caught our eye.

1. New Caddy System

Tiger 12 offers a new way to help improve your golf game--by giving you a caddy to suggest your next shot. Before each shot, an AI-controlled caddy will offer a small handful of potential shots ranging from aggressive, high-risk-reward shots to more safe and cautious approaches. Things like fade and draw are automatically built into the shot, so you just need to make sure your stroke has the right power and angle. Hardcore players can ignore this advice by either turning it off completely or skipping it on a case-by-case basis in order to get into the nitty-gritty of a custom shot.

2. One-Button Menu Navigation

Menus are one of those things hardcore gamers take for granted--we see a simple way to get to our next goal, but less-seasoned gamers see an intimidating wall of text and indecipherable branching pathways. That's why EA Tiburon has effectively added two ways to navigate through the game from the menu screens. You've got the left half of the screen where you can jump into detailed options like your sponsors and pro shop settings, while the right half of the screen features a new tool called the Career Assistant. This feature is designed to let you get to the next career event with a single button press, suggesting the next course or tournament to hit when it makes sense to go there.

3. Revamped Career Mode Progression

The career mode in Tiger Woods has historically been very much rooted in the idea of earning and spending experience points. You'll still be able to earn XP, but now you're using it only to upgrade your abilities (things like driving power and accuracy). No longer will you use XP to buy new gear. Instead, you're now building more intimate relationships with your sponsors. You pick a sponsor and build up your level with them, unlocking new gear after you've spent time with a company.

4. Improved PlayStation Move Controls

Move support was patched into the PlayStation 3 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 after the game was released--the game came out before Move did, after all--but this year Tiburon has been able to spend more time with the hardware to improve the Move experience. While we didn't get a chance to try it, Tiburon tells us that it has added new techniques like spin and boost, while making other subtle techniques more reliable than they were last year.

5. 3D Grass

OK, fine, this one's a bit of a stretch. 3D blades of grass that sway in the wind depending on weather conditions will probably appeal only to the hardest of hardcore players. But if that's what you fancy yourself--there you go. 3D grass!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 will be released on March 29. You can expect to see more coverage here on GameSpot as that date draws closer.

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Discussion

69 comments
Scootman78
Scootman78

Why no Kinect support you ask? How's the game going to know if you're drawing or fading your shot? How will it know if you're just practicing a swing? Kinect Bowling has issues where the ball won't spin/hook correctly to the user's movements. Offering Kinect support would require much more than a patch - it would require EA to create a workaround to the problems Kinect has in detecting complex movements (and yes, I have a Kinect).

Scootman78
Scootman78

Is anyone else bugged that the TW games won't allow you to create more than 4 profiles (and therefore just 4 created players/avatars)? Its cool that EA believes only 4 people max will play their game in a household, but my family is more than 4 strong and we all enjoy playing TW, but we don't like that it only lets you use 4 created players. We enjoy playing Wii Sports Resort golf and Frisbee golf more than TW only because it lets you use your own players without difficulty.

jergernice
jergernice

I will never buy a tw game from ea until i hear it is even somewhat challenging......why they cant come out with a game near what links 2004 was on xbox.....why oh why.....

inline243
inline243

This game will be AMAZING! Why is Gamespot missing all of this great info from all the other sites!!! *New career mode - Work your way up the ladder from the EA tour, Amateur Tour, Nationwide Tour, Q-School, and the PGA Tour. If you're good enough you can even skip the Nationwide Tour. Become the Masters Champion and World #1! *Earn Sponsorships *DLC courses will be folded into career events. *THE MASTERS - Augusta National and the Par 3 Contest! *All new gameplay - Caddie, putting circle, choke down on clubs, first person view Move *New gameplay difficulties - Am, Pro, Tour Pro, and Tournament (sim golf) *The President's Cup *Mid-Round Saves *Import XP from Tiger 11 *New broadcast presentation - Jim Nantz and David Feherty commentary!!! *Tuned Club Distances *Lot's of new golfers like Zach Johnson *Pins and Bag Tags

tapout03
tapout03

@kippcorona 10 and 11 were a full year to be exact bud and i buy this game every year because they do make needed changes 10 they added the open and 11 add ryder cup so yeah this game is worth buying every year.

Banana-Hammock
Banana-Hammock

This is hands down the best sports game to play "Split-screen" multiplayer on. It's easy for people to pick up a few holes, do something in between when it's not your shot, and very casual. It's easy to pickup but hard to master. Get 3 of your friends and a few 6-packs and you'll love it. Kipp: You really shouldn't buy games like this in succession. I always wait a few years between games. I still have TW08. Still looks great, and plays great. No need to waste money every year. That said, it's been 4 years, I think it's time to get the next installment!

jimic21
jimic21

@ kippcorona, normally i would agree with you that it's lame when developers release games too rapidly, but the Masters is in April so they want the best new feature in the game to be out before the best golf tournament of the year.

kippcorona
kippcorona

After TW11 was released something like 10 months after TW10 EA now is going to release in TW12 end of March 2011... Only 9 months later... So the year hast just started and I'm owning TW11 since a few months and they will drop ANOTHER one so soon?!?!?! What the hell is that? That is just money making and exploiting golf fans!!! In 2015 we will be buying TW18 or what?!?! A fair sell would be a DLC for those who already own TW11. I won't be spending EUR 40 every 9 months just to play the latest game and to compete online! I'm really pissed! Won't buy it!!!

kds5101
kds5101

To say that All Tigers sponsers have dropped him is uninformed. He is still the highest payed athlete by over $20 million dollars. It's not like he killed little puppies or raped some kids. These were consenting adults, yes he was stupid, yes he has hurt his family & himself but if he really is a better man, he needs a second chance. To simply write him off is insanely hipocritical unless you have lived a perfect life yourself. Give him some time to prove himself then make up your mind.

so_hai
so_hai

Actually, 3D grass is what they use in real golf now, so that's a great addition.

jstowers
jstowers

@moorekyle You, sir, are an idiot. Who cares what the dude does in his spare time, for all I care - he could be a S&M sadistic dungeon keeper with a bevvy of obese slaves, baby-daddy to 100 illegitimates all over the globe and a bad tipper, and i'll still dig his golf because EACH TO THEIR OWN MATE. What a golfer (or any sportsperson does) in their own time is that exactly - their business. Wicked new changes coming up for Tiger 12 - especially: * The Masters - get that jacket! * Mid round saves... will be a time-poor players dream... * Caddy system and new Career XP updates - very cute * New Tour inclusions like the Nationwide and Q-school... As a golfer and a person who respects others business being their own, i'm mad excited for this release!

flox25
flox25

moorekyle Posted Jan 9, 2011 6:25 am GMT EA needs to drop Tiger like almost everyone else has. Tiger, you want to be man-whore, its your choice, but don't pretend to be a husband and a father at the same time. What a piece of sh*t. EA, I'll never buy another golf game with his name on it ---------------- then don't buy the damn game. seriously, but spare us your whining. You're worse than the Favre and Vick haters. I don't buy the game because I love Tiger, I buy it because its the only real golf option out there.

1wntr
1wntr

moorekyle - do you really watch sports because of the players lifestyles? There would be a lot of empty sports fields out there if only the righteous were aloud to compete. I don't condone his actions. But really, you actually give a F#@k?

soaduk
soaduk

No-one has ps move....why no kinect support I hope they patch THAT in!

HershalCrusto
HershalCrusto

I agree gavin78. I also don't want them to make the scoring outrageously low by the comp to make it tough. Make it harder for the person playing ot go low and have realistic scoring like there is in 2011

gavin78
gavin78

The problem with Tiger Woods PGA games are that they're piss easy, even on the hardest settings - we want a challenge EA. I don't want to win all four majors in my first or second year on the tour!!!

efunk25
efunk25

yes all those great updates in the game yet the same outdated graphics.

inline243
inline243

This game will be AMAZING! Why is Gamespot missing all of this great info from all the other sites!!! *New career mode - Work your way up the ladder from the EA tour, Amateur Tour, Nationwide Tour, Q-School, and the PGA Tour. If you're good enough you can even skip the Nationwide Tour. Become the Masters Champion and World #1! *Earn Sponsorships *DLC courses will be folded into career events. *THE MASTERS - Augusta National and the Par 3 Contest! *All new gameplay - Caddie, putting circle, choke down on clubs, first person view Move *New gameplay difficulties - Am, Pro, Tour Pro, and Tournament (sim golf) *The President's Cup *Mid-Round Saves *Import XP from Tiger 11 *New broadcast presentation - Jim Nantz and David Feherty commentary!!! *Tuned Club Distances *Lot's of new golfers like Zach Johnson *Pins and Bag Tags

moorekyle
moorekyle

EA needs to drop Tiger like almost everyone else has. Tiger, you want to be man-whore, its your choice, but don't pretend to be a husband and a father at the same time. What a piece of sh*t. EA, I'll never buy another golf game with his name on it.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Maybe this will be the first TW game I will buy since TW 2004(which was one of my all-time favorites).

daviwinn
daviwinn

I heard that if you enter a cheat code you open up and achievement called "Divorce Settlement" and you lose $750 Million of your earnings.

remirousseau
remirousseau

It's supposed to support the wii balance board in combination with motionplus... so it can take into account: balance, weight shift, hands speed etc... So my average score of +/- 65 on pga tour09 will probably go up to 110!! :-)

Dualmask
Dualmask

If they're not going to feature Tiger Woods' face prominently on the cover, why feature his name? They might as well have just called it The Masters: PGA Tour 12. It's almost pointless to include Tiger's name. That being said, I feel like buying this just to spite the people who think Tiger's personal life has anything to do with his golf game to us as gamers. That and...I'd like to play something with a little more oomph than Wii Sports Resort Golf.

golfmanmatt
golfmanmatt

The DLC should be compatible year on year, rather than having to pay the ever increasing price (400>600msp) for the same course you bought last year. Facists!

bobace
bobace

All those Tiger Woods games over the years have never succeded of detroning the most realistic golf game on the XBOX .'LINKS 2004'. Believe it or not but I just found one at a store and it will work on the XBOX360.Try it ,it is pure pleasure.

solus909
solus909

Finally, FINALLY, Augusta National has allowed this addition. There are a lot of people who have waited a LONG TIME for this. First day buy for me.

JJMIZZY
JJMIZZY

Typical EA move. Take something that used to be in the game (caddie help) away for a few years, then bring it back and call it a "new" feature. I didn't buy last year's iteration but I heard they added dynamic wind, which is cool. Now give us dynamic pin placements. I like to play along with the real life tournament, and I want EVERY condition to be exactly what the pros are facing that day.

twyz
twyz

Just because EA releases a Tiger Woods or a Madden game every year doesn't mean you have to buy it every year. If your mad because every Tiger Woods game has the same courses, then stop buying it.

BigBoi17
BigBoi17

"Ohhh no!!! EA sucks they're charging $60 for a remake of a game that hasn't released yet...I bet it has the same golf balls and everything that's not revolutionary!!!" Nope, that's capitalism....

redzed24
redzed24

Tiger Woods is still one of the most recognized names in sport. Yeah, he banged other chicks.. just like 50% of married men probably do. Big deal. The fact is, he is still a world class golfer and is the most well known golfer on the planet. Who knows who Lee Westwood is that isn't a big fan of golf? I have no issues with anything they have done. All I care about is a good game of golf and if it has improved on last years game then thats all that matters.. I am more concerned that the courses they charge $10 for every year eventually are made compatible with the next game. Make the old courses available and sell new ones..

killeroo
killeroo

This should be call Lee Westwood PGA Tour 12

Dominicobaggio
Dominicobaggio

Still churning out woods games even though he isnt near the best anymore. Milk it ea milk it!! (just like tiger did with those women :P)

Vikasgames94
Vikasgames94

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

blackace
blackace

I'm not paying $60 for it. I didn't even pay $60 for 2011. I think I payed $34,99 when it went on sale. I liked 2010, but it was too easy and hardcore gamers mastered every hole within the first month. If you played online people were scoring outrageous scores like 47 for 18 holes. Lots of eagles on par 4's and hole-in-one every round. It was just dumb. 2011 was a bit harder thankfully and I liked it better because of that. Putts were no longer a gimmie from 10ft away and you weren't going to win every tournament. Much better game overall. I'm interested in 2012, but I'll wait 6 months after release to pick it up for under $35. No one should pay $60 for this game, or any Tiger Woods, Madden, NCAA BB or Fifa game. Now of them are worth that price. So far the only sports game that was worth $60 was NBA 2K11 and I still got that for $49.99.

Blitzman
Blitzman

Here is an idea - - ship a $20 game with only one or two courses. Then have a multitude of courses downloadable at $8-$10 a pop. In this manner, you can pick up any courses you want. Yes, I know, I know... it can get more expensive if you want to keep buying courses, but you don't necessarily *have* to buy Pebble Beach if you have visited it in previous iterations :). I would like to see Colonial Country Club as an option, or the Four Seasons (Byron Nelson's course in Las Colinas). The only way to make this work would be to have a considerable number of courses to download.

flox25
flox25

At least this year there will be a change worth paying for. NHL and Tiger are the only two EA franchises they seem to put any effort into... and even Tiger '11 was no better than '10. Things will change after the class action lawsuit they are facing for swindling Madden players for the past 5 years.

un_turco
un_turco

Ok... they got move support on... but what about kinect? I'm dying for a full swing reading and feedback... Does anyone know if they are going to walk those nine yards??

DawgByte2
DawgByte2

So let me get this straight... $60.00. What do you get? - A new name on the game. - SLIGHTLY revamped graphics in certain areas. - Broken graphics probably in other areas. - Mostly same courses. Why keep forking over 60 beans for the same courses over & over? Pebble Beach again?! - Same players... - Exclusive Wii content for $10 less... ironic, isn't it? The pay-off I guess for inferior graphic engine. -- And they say that Activision is the evil company.

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

And sorry I gotta get my rant in lol.. i just gotta say i dont agree with EA's policy of every year you having to fork out extra for the additional courses. THIS EA STINKS!!!

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

loved 9 and 10. hated 11, so what should i do OMG!!! lol. my prob with 11 was that i thought that EA had messed around with it too much, taking away little things that i was so gettin used to in the past 2. Ill be checkin this out for sure. I just hope the masters is in with the career, and not a separate mode...

seanmontela
seanmontela

Is it also possible to date multiple girls outside the golf course in this new edition?

bluepuppy82
bluepuppy82

"drokmore Posted Jan 5, 2011 12:10 am PT Tiger Woods need a break, so does his series, I mean 12 geesh. " 12? What about EA's Madden? Isn't that series on 20? Its been around since 1988 when it was know as John Madden Football. That's a series that needs a break! Anyway, can't wait for this game!!

drokmore
drokmore

Tiger Woods need a break, so does his series, I mean 12 geesh.

thomanji
thomanji

I will Pass, $60 for nothing, another slight facelift to suck out another $60 and of course all courses are extra again. To much greed over at EA will cost the shareholders more than making good games for a fair price.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Pretty soon all $60 will buy you is a disc that tells you where to go to buy the rest of the game, EA is more evil than M$